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Why is Nisolo Taking Root in the South?

September 25, 2012

When people contemplate the make up of socially conscious brands, places like Southern California, Portland, Seattle, or New York often come to mind. These are the hot spots and, in many ways, the best markets for brands that share similar passions and visions as Nisolo. Yet, we decided to base Nisolo right in the middle of the Southern United States in Nashville, Tennessee.

But why?

People who haven’t spent much time in the South sometimes tend to think of it is a backward, close-minded, stuck-in-the-past yet “charming” place to visit. Those who have had an opportunity to spend more than a few days in the South soon recognize that it is blooming with innovation and cultivating a generation of leadership that is ready to take on the world’s toughest challenges (even those that are in our very own backyards).

That being said, does this mean that the average Southerner is fully cognizant of the concepts of social enterprise or Green Tech or that they are aware of what true sustainable development looks like? Not necessarily. But, to think that these notions are not welcome or fully supported in the South is ignorant. In fact, my experience with the development of Nisolo over the past few years has confirmed just the opposite. In my opinion, the sluggish outward appearance of the acceptance of “global citizenship” in the South is not due to a lack of interest or support, but to a lack of legitimate exposure.

Many of us are passionate about changing this. We envision a South that will continue to strengthen its participation in addressing many of the challenges that we face today yet that will stay true to the heritage and countless positives that make this region so special. Those very attributes—the rebellious, prideful spirit of the South combined with its strong religious ties and dedication to volunteerism—are what make the South what I perceive to be one of the most prominent, untapped markets for social innovation. Just wait, you’ll see.

If you have traveled ‘round this way, you have felt how friendly, warm, and helpful Southerners tend to be. From the many Southerners we know working as missionaries in Peru to the countless families over the past year who have opened their homes and volunteered their efforts to help Nisolo, we are incredibly thankful that southern culture has played such a vital role in Nisolo’s success. The South is where we have established our roots and, in appreciation, it is the region we have chosen to focus on growing our presence the most.

We hope to help lead the charge in building a culture of conscious consumerism here in the South and, together, we hope to call for a cultural revolution and true recognition of global citizenship throughout the United States. Whether that means “going green,” buying locally to support Southern farming, or even buying a good that is handmade and literally putting a roof over someone’s head, we hope you will have a chance to join us along the way.

That is why we are happy to announce the start of the next chapter in the life of Nisolo: The Fall 2012 Southern Roots Tour. Striving to raise awareness for sustainable development while at the same time sharing Nisolo’s story, we are setting out on a 20 city journey ranging from Austin, TX to Atlanta, GA. And guess what?

We need your help!

We are humbly depending on the South that we know and love to make this tour a success. We know people in some of these cities, yet not so many in others. If you believe in what we are doing and want to contribute in some capacity, please take a look at the list of cities that we will visit in October and December on the EVENTS page of our website and consider helping us spread the word.

Please write us at nisolo@nisoloshoes.com with suggestions or friends to contact!

As always, it has been a pleasure sharing a little more about Nisolo with you.

Thanks for listening.

-Patrick

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